Zoom Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Over ‘Zoombombing’
Zoom Video Communications, the video conferencing company whose internet app became a mainstay of American life during the coronavirus pandemic, has agreed to pay $ 85 million and improve its security practices to settle a lawsuit claiming that it had violated the privacy of its users.
Filed in March 2020, shortly after the pandemic hit the United States, the lawsuit claimed that Zoom shared personal data with third-party internet services and allowed hackers to interrupt online meetings through “Zoombombing”. , A phenomenon in which Internet trolls exploit a screen sharing feature on the video conferencing application to display offensive messages or images.
Under the settlement, which still requires the approval of a federal judge, Zoom subscribers would be eligible to receive a 15% refund on their primary subscriptions or $ 25 – whichever is greater. Other users could receive a refund of up to $ 15.
The company has also agreed to notify users when others use third-party applications during meetings and to provide training on privacy and data handling to its employees.
“The privacy and security of our users is a top priority for Zoom, and we take the trust our users place in us seriously,” the company said in a statement. “We are proud of the advancements we have made to our platform and look forward to continuing to innovate by putting privacy and security at the forefront. “
By agreeing to settle the matter, the company denied any wrongdoing.
In the spring of 2020, 14 class actions were filed against the company for Zoombombing, a phenomenon widely discussed during the first weeks of quarantine that often involved pornography and racist language. This included, for example, posting white supremacist messages during a webinar on anti-Semitism.
In May, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California consolidated the numerous complaints into one class action lawsuit.
The lawsuit also claimed that Zoom shared users’ personal data with third-party services such as Facebook, Google and LinkedIn and that it had falsely told users that its service provided end-to-end encryption, a security measure aimed at to prevent strangers from listening. on online communications.
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